Real Time Anonymous Cooperative Decision Systems

It seems what is being proposed would be an app or possible a core feature. In a prior thread it was pointed out that for forums there were already people working on such systems but I am wondering about a more active role for such systems and using them as the heart of distributed automated cooperatives as an anonymous real time decision system.

Very roughly I’d envision small organizations of possible 100 people and within them groups of 10 to 12 people that use real time decision tree software to make decisions. Crucially there is the need to strip away the cult of personality and ego. I see real time free flowing areas that look like chat rooms but no id given (not even pseudonyms or numbers or letters to track comments by various posters) attached to comments and no credit taking or self-referencing or referencing others allowed in the bodies of comments. This might make conversations a little harder to track but it should be well worth it as there will always be plausible deniability so that true things that need to can be said get said or ventured and people don’t waist time trying to vindicate dead ends or getting caught up in embarrassment. The credit mongering will be barred. It will be strength of idea not strength of personality.

Past decisions could be reopened for change at any time by anyone but would go through the vote process again to reopen and to change. If someone started with the self -referencing or trying the expose the identity of themselves or the identity of other’s making comments then other members could flag the anonymous post and and with sufficient votes that person would be locked out of decision making for a period of time and the comment removed from the record.

These might be phone driven texting systems, kind of crude but it could evolve from there. Maybe some of the limits and decorum for structure could be taken from social media like Twitter’s more limited input chunks.

In these digital automated cooperatives, no one is telling anyone else what to do. It’s negotiated and it’s all voluntary. If people start slaking or have periods where they can’t contribute as much, don’t sweat it, it’s inevitable. There will always be some that don’t perform as well. That is the nature of things, don’t resent it, you keep the people you can live with and when you take them it in it’s a commitment to their wellbeing and yours.

There would be a process for removal and it would follow the objective process above laying out the behavior and the prohibitions and the remedies and the ineffectiveness and how the behavior compromised held values and at the end of a chain on such an inquiry an identity and a resolution could come forth, but that would possibly be the sole exception and even then for consistency using an actual identity in the forum could be avoided.


Its not a very good idea.

Everyone needs to be informed in order to participate wisely. and being informed is time consuming.

Time is money, and time spent learning about “should we buy this product or that” is time not being spent making something that can be sold for revenue to pay paychecks.

If the decision is obvious you just spent 10 or 100 times man hours coming to the decision you would have come to anyway, and if the matter is controversial you will not get consensus either way and some people will win and some people will lose… Just like they do now… But there will not be anyone specific that can be held accountable for making the wrong decision…

Most organizations deal with a trillion details that are best managed by one or two people who are experts in the said details. How fast you run your conveyor belt between two machines matters a ton, but delegating it to committee is silly. Hire a guy that knows math, have him do the computation, and set the speed.

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And once again treat a human like a tool. No, that’s the problem and its more important to empower people. Again these don’t have to be the most efficient and effective organizations to rebuild the middle class and make society workable again. And these organizations don’t have to be stuck on reinventing the wheel or even honoring intellectual property. Decisions made once are made. Stuff still gets worked out face to face but without the uselessness of supervisors, managers, executives, bosses, board members stock holders and all that other bs. And again as I’ve suggested we don’t buy products from corporates and we don’t work for them that is a natural way forward. This is empowerment, taking back the power and its decentralization distributed systems taken seriously. Of course elitest corporatists top down centralizers aren’t going to get it, they might have to work and actually contribute for a change instead of just lie about it.

But you don’t empower people. Power comes from producing not voting.

Decision making is best done by an informed expert. Because he has time to study and comprehend all of the nuances of whatever little bitty facet of the business he is making a decision on.

A committee isn’t going to understand how fast to run a conveyor without studying all of the machines in the system, their capacities, the likelihood of breakdown, the cost of units in inventory, the supply chain etc. Educating 10 people on such a matter is useless because the answer is the answer, and one competent guy can figure it out just as well as 10 ignorant people in far less time.

All the time wasted on fake “empowerment” leads to less production, which leads to less resources for growing the business, paying employees, investing in future products etc. Power comes from getting the job done, not deciding how to do it.

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And those experts will work for cooperatives as members of the cooperatives. A committee of experts.

And no power will determine who gets paid and that would be the employee owners not the useless stock holders or other detached parasites including management.

Who knows who the experts are? You said everybody was anonymous.

Everybody is an expert at their job. If they are not they usually have to find a different one. That expertise is where their power comes from, Not some voting mechanism where they have to chime in on things that they are know little about.


Might it be an idea for you two to agree to disagree, or at least slow down a bit? So far your discussions on these issues tend to become more like personal conversations, and as they become longer the less likely it becomes that others will read it all and jump in.


I am done. Hopefully the defender of the status quo is also satisfied. In the way of an olive branch to Mr. @jreighly yes in the past we seemed to be stuck with these roles and position that were too often unwanted. But I think the tech that automates away much of the corporate machinery itself leaves us only with the automated cooperative as a viable remaining path for staking political serious claims on resources.

I’m all for promoting ideas over ego but what your propose has a few holes in it. 1. Without psudonymes how does one know that the speaker isn’t a complete habitual liar? Or conversely how does one know they aren’t telling the God’s honest truth? How does reputation form on such a system in order to verify the veracity of information? 2. If information veracity is not an issue. That is if it is presumed the end user is responsible for deciding the validity of all information then how would you best propose that an end user self educate themselves in an efficient manner? How would they validate said information? After all one mind cannot hold all knowledge. They’d have to exit your system and go do research on their own. Unless you have an alternative to traditional acedemic methods.

And this essentially sums up one of the reasons our society is so screwed up. Because people don’t take the time to educate themselves and thus become over specialized and dependent on “experts.” Temple building and centralization logic, oy va. If people were self sufficient they wouldn’t need to spend so much time on earning paycheques.

You’re right that treating someone like a tool is a form of objectification however how is a comittee treating someone like a tool any better than a single individual treating someone like a tool? It’s objectification either way. Any time someone else is deciding for you it’s the same. What you propose doesn’t empower people as it’s just another form of mob mentality. It doesn’t matter if it’s a crowd making the decision to lop off a guys head or if it’s a tyrant with a crown, the guy ends up equally dead. An order is an order regardless of whether you decentralize it or whether you centralize it. Decisions should be made by the individual alone. Leave tasks for tools to tools. Treat objects like objects and people like people. You need something to calculate the difference between two points? Get a calculator.

Well this is just wrong. They just need a passing grade or to be better than the next guy. They hardly need to be an “expert” at all. And considering how much getting a job depends on networking, knowing people personally and trading favors I’d say it has even less to do with being an “expert.” That’s just what’s passed off to convince customers you have credibility. Also an “expert” at what and compared to what? Sometimes one skill set is more important than another. Not saying you don’t need expertise but it doesn’t follow that because one got or has the job that one is an “expert” in the field, they might just know a hair more than average Joe and that’s it.

I am not opposed to education or knowledge.

But within an organization there are things that are complicated, require judgements, relationships, knowledge of how things interact, and a lot of other complexities. An organization is going to be best served by having an specialist or two that knows the ins and outs of those interactions than to try to get everybody to study everything and hopefully come to the same conclusion.

Should be buy the ETG4000 or the ETG 5000? Most folks aren’t going to know the difference between the two models. They probably don’t even know what they do. They could read the marketing materials, but unless they know the throughput of the production lines at that particular point, and what resolution the print needs to be for all of the products that might be produced there they won’t know which model is better. 1 million extra dollars is quite bump in price. If we can put out 40000 extra parts it might pay off - If the customers actually buy what they are inquiring about from us, not our competitor. Eating the 1 million dollars if we don’t find buyers may mean layoffs. Are we going to need to get a better electrical service to install that machine?

If you have a company of 100, having 100 people try to figure this stuff out is never going to be as efficient as 3 or 4 people figuring it out who have been dealing with similar issues for 10-25 years… The 3 or 4 experts are going to come to the right answers, because most of it is math in the end. Adding non-experts is going to just make things cloudy, and will take up a ton of time that each person could be using being experts at what they are experts at.

@Blindsite2k Yes the logic seems perverse but that’s what I think is called for. I don’t want the reputations and I do want them going outside the circle jerk of academia. It perfectly fine with me if they get confused within the loop of dialog about what where there thoughts and others. I want it to blend and amalgamate. Its deliberation and each time they come back let it be with fresh eyes and without clinging to thoughts or identifying with them. Let all past decisions be open to being reopened. As for reputation, they know its their close circle involved in some way or other. The worst of among them if they think differently can still make invaluable contributions. Again each idea each time considered with freshest eyes possible and stripped of the personality trappings. And not everyone has to be involved in every decision some will sit out because of time and inclination, their team mates without playing the identity game can respectfully encourage their participation but there is no checking up or any of that nonsense.

Now for the second part of the critique. Oh I agree 100%. These people with their decisions can’t make any of the other intrinsic equals do anything ever. And all know as part of the culture that a command is absolutely unacceptable. An exception, which isn’t forcing anything on anyone else is mutually agreed upon dissociation or time outs temporary or more permanent. People have to be able to say when they need space.

But as for performance considerations and the like, as I’ve said that stuff to me is generally slave based idiot mentality. It doesn’t wash for me. Be careful who you let in. Much activity and collaboration will be decided face to face without the real time system for agreement forming and maybe some of those decisions don’t get made without unanimity, which could be decided upon by the members as part of each deliberation. But as far as performance some people won’t perform to expectation for various reasons and for various durations, but I don’t think its really the groups business or concern. Replace one such person and you will get another, its statistics. People need down time, people need slack and they need to be able to manage their slack. If you have a devil better the devil you know.

But I think fluid intrinsically equal flat cooperatives without the useless overhead of magic eight ball supervisors, managers, executives, boards and stock holders is going to be more competitive. And even in the real time decision system the world of search and all the modern tools are still there to find the best inputs to the deliberation and decision making, as is academia. But different teams might go with different parsing conventions to make the idea process flow.

So these ideas provide context and planning for group activity but everyone would know that autonomy is crucial, vital and precious and never to be disrespected or de-prioritized. There is a deep connection between autonomy and anonymous. These systems help eliminate conflicts of interest and having act against our own interests or other people’s interests.

Yes but how does all that solve the problems and questions I posed? How does it solve the problem of veracity of information? Forget ego here for a moment, I’m just talking about the information itself. If I claimed I had seen an alien spaceship land on my lawn, which is POSSIBLE but highly unlikely, how would you verify this? Without reputation how do you propose to verify if any information is credible or not?

How? With no identity being listed how do they know?

Perhaps but they can also make terrible mistakes and submit horrendous ideas as well. With the good comes the bad.

Are you not familiar with the bystander pheonomenon or fact that it only takes 10% of the population to reach a tipping point an elicit change? People are sheep and will follow the crowd especially if they’re in an anonymous crowd and are not held accountable. Sure they might submit ideas they wouldn’t otherwise and sure they’ll be exposed to ideas they wouldn’t otherwise be but they also will be more complacent and conformist.

Clarify, how is “performance considerations and the like” “slave based idiot mentality”. Also let people into what? It sounds like you propose creating elitist think tanks.

Real time face to face meetings compromise security and anonymity and therefore are not relevant to real time anonymous decision making systems. Also what you are proposing is essentially a democratic committee.

Have you ever run any organizations @Warren? Seriously have you? If one or two people in your organization need down time that’s fine. But if 20% are slacking off, or 50% are slacking off, or you’re down to 1 or 2 people down 80% to 90% of the work for the majority of the organization THEN you have an issue because when those core people burn out your own system dissolves. YES performance is very much a concern of the group because it affects EVERYONE. As above so below. What affects the individual affects the group. If you’re going to throw in with collaborative decision making then it follows that you need collaborative performance consideration as well. You’re right people need down time and rest or whatever but that’s also why you need to make sure everyone does their part otherwise your “workers” will burn out and things start blowing up. Collaborative decision making is not an excuse for bad leadership skills. Whether you’re a king or a cooperative the results are the same.

But dude you just proposed on creating all that stuff in your new system! That’s what this whole bloody thread is about! You are proposing creating a board or collective decision making team that would make decisions for a community. It doesn’t matter if their egos are taken out of it. They’re still making decisions for others. And you yourself said “Be careful who you let in.” So this implies you are selective about who sits on this board or group and it isn’t comprised of your whole population or just anyone who wants to opt in.

Also what’s to stop people from just talking and talking and never actually making a decision?

Yeah but the problem here is when you start silo thinking. “Experts” fall into two main traps. 1. They overspecialize and don’t know or don’t communicate with those who know about subject matter outside their field of study. Point in case the Math, Science, English and History teachers all sitting down and comparing notes on how and what they are teaching as while they might be teaching different things it’s all connected.

Relying on an expert creates intellectual dependency and centralization of knowledge. Sometimes this is okay or even beneficial. If I’m doing my taxes once a year I don’t mind being a bit dependent and just getting someone to do the accounting work for me. But if I’m going to buy some tech or do something that would affect me on a daily basis yes I would want to educate myself rather than rely on an external expert. It all comes down to self sufficiency vs dependency on others. It’s not wasteful to become self sufficient if you’re using the skill often enough or if it has a profound enough impact on your life.

Reputation doesn’t verify anything its just testimonial, we don’t want people disengaging. Also this process is not cure all, but a replacement for wasteful, inefficient, ineffective, unethical, immoral, soul killing organizational hierarchy. Its a piece of the puzzle but one that is possibly close to the heart of the problem.

Because these are not open chat rooms. These are purpose built private rooms for 10-12 people or possibly the 100 in the organization. These would be a fabric of micro organizations at some point highly automated but this is their real time think tank element. They will grow expert at the issues they face and refine endlessly. I see them using this on their phone when they have time. Its flexible.

As for when the worse the worst have bad ideas, well the they are out in the open and they don’t drive the decision tree forward those suggestions don’t get pursued. That’s not all that big of a deal. But people would have room to grow without being stigmatized, their suggestions could ostensibly improve without social conformity crap like the Hawthorn effect kicking in

The kind of people who would use this system are likely not sheep. The sheep can either suck off the dole in a less prosperous society or survive on charity in a hugely prosperous society. Besides this is an empowerment model designed to snap them out of learned helplessness sheep mode.

As far as the slave based capitalist model of always trying to victimize someone to scare out performance for the profit of the net negative or at best non contributing capitalist- no that game is over.
You will have the bell curve. You keep your five percenters on the left side of the curve because at least you know them and can live with them. In a cooperative you might be able to hold on to the five percenters at the right side of the curve. In the typical stupid capitalist sweat shop the 5% on the right side tends to run off seeking better vistas.

The face to face part of it is reality, this is for driving decisions and agreements on things that need them and are not routine. The face to face stuff is inevitable to a degree. As far as being a democratic committee or being collegiate, yes that true to a degree and it has its very well studied downsides but its also not that because this is a continuous process among equals in a distributed automated cooperative, these are partners figuring out what to do next and how to do it. The don’t engage in this deliberative process unless they need to, but its as easy as texting and social media. So not the anonymity here isn’t for security.

No this is a partnership of equals and equal ownership. Equal partners can’t remotely boss anyone around. They succeed together or sink together but its not about socializing sheep and its not about leadership models which is always about victimizing and the celebration of the narcissistic. Remember there are no that are not full partner/owners. Dissolving or reducing the cooperative or collaboration is of course possible but it would be done on mutually agreeable terms by procedures agreed upon ahead of time. To win these structures do not have to be the most productive or efficient, they win just by the way they distribute their rewards to the people who actually contribute and have some skin in the game.

Its discussed in another thread but when you get the conflicts out of the system you not only get rid of the supervisors, managers, execs, board, stock holders - it also means stuff like pay as you go pensions that don’t come from outside investments and it means the stake can’t be inherited or passed on that it would only be there to cover a remaining spouse or orphans until that spouse passes or the orphan reaches the age of majority. It might also logically mean that a pension could be paid at the point of vestment say at 5 years if the person opted to leave.

No this is a model to replace corporations because corporations are basically slavery with unsustainable externalities and there will be no democracy if its not in the work place. These organizations have no fat. There are not boards. These are the actual worker/owners that make all the decisions in agreement about what they will do together. There is no rank or ability to force people to do things although there are preagreed upon provisions for dissolution.



I see personality and ego as something to preserve, not something to strip away. And instead of trying to force the old model of organizations into a distributed system, it will be far more powerful I believe to use DAOs, distributed autonomous organizations, and then have crowdsourced inputs to the DAOs. A single DAO can allow many simultaneous and competing implementations for the same function, and people can dynamically fork those implementations and modify them. Some people will believe in one particular implementation while others prefer another one. And this kind of input to the DAO can be done by owners as well as users, ranging from a single person to millions of people. Implementations using hierarchical decision-making will compete with decentralized implementations within the same DAO.

For example a distributed Wikipedia can be a DAO with several different articles for a single entry. And competing GUI views can be different implementations as a layer in the DAO on top of the article data. One view can be a mainstream view, and another view can be more of a conspiracy theory view etc. The article about for example the 9/11 attacks would look different depending on whether the user is using the mainstream view or the conspiracy theory view. Another example is a creationist view vs a Darwinian dogma view vs a Lamarckian epigenetic view and so on.

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I agree with that especially when more generalized AI comes on line. But with regard to crowd source I’d think the role of owner goes out the window. But also with regard to strong AI or sentience I have to wonder if we don’t find that it has a will which can’t be directed almost by definition and also that it may have little tolerance for boredom or repetition even if can run or execute such tasks at a distance on systems that don’t meet the criterion general or strong AI and don’t have the problem Mr. Thomas Anderson in another thread pointed toward a distribute automated organization that would have the humans do the computationally intractable tasks and to me that still sounds like the cooperative structure is the best match for the human component but I do see that a community approach could also apply and be complementary. What you are suggesting reminds me of credit unions which I like very much. At the point there is a generalized AI that is better at the intractable tasks we may be out of the picture.

With regard to hierarchies. I think they need to go. I see them being valid in a developmental context but power distance and power hierarchies I think we need to begin to reject outright in every instance. I am not trying to be too rigid here but I think they really present a threat to our existence and we have better means. I think in every case they damage the potential and life experience of those who exist at every level except the very top and even there it fosters the worst in people. I think they provide no advantages that are worth while or justified, they have become obsolete at best. Part of this may be a subtle evolution of the human mind or psychological make up but I think they are over with.

The example of a distributed Wikipedia can be a DAO without AI control. And one interface view in the DAO can be managed by owners using hierarchical decision-making or the model you proposed in the OP or something else. And that view can compete with open source views and other owner views and all kinds of views we today can’t imagine and later on yes also AI views, but there is no requirement to have AI in the beginning.

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So, you want decisions to be made in a environment resembling 4chan?

No Warren, no.

I don’t know what to say except that in the past they’ve tended to be top down hierarchical.

It wouldn’t be surprising to find a whole community academics that have been working on maybe this exact type of approach for decades. Sam UK pointed out this: A while back when I tried to suggest a section of this forum have the anon format David or Nick pointed to a group that had been developing such a format for forums. Also, I realized a while back that much of what I thought was novel or brand new was stuff I had come across in Daniel Suarez fiction going back to 2009, in my own case I was recycling the thinking he put forth without recognizing it.

Right, but Warren is talking about running an entire organization based on Crowd management.

I am specifically talking about within an organization. Every detail of most organization faces examples like the one I gave you every day. Having a crowd solve problems that they have little expertise and understanding of is never going to yield an answer close to what the experts would get because the experts know what they are doing and the crowd does not.

Power comes from producing products and services. Power does not come from deciding how to do it. If everyone decides and nobody does. there is nothing to sell. No revenue to share. Nothing to reinvest on and on.

Not at all. The groups of 12 or 100 can be experts in what they are working on and deciding on. But the people who put out the Loomia framework think it works well for decisions for groups up to 1000 people. Plus we’ve been over this business about juries vs non juries for fact finding, so there are areas where the wisdom of the crowd has been in long use.